a RWBY fanfiction by The Overlord Bear
Summary: Were it not for a wandering musician’s cynical words, Weiss Schnee would have continued on the path to becoming a Huntress. Now, a disinherited Weiss lives as a wandering singer, trying to be a hero in a different manner, with that wandering musician named Jaune Arc as a companion…
Previous Chapter: Remembering Boundaries
First Chapter: A Change of Path
Chapter 9: Refreshing Rain
“Welcome to the Pearly Shores Inn! Oh, it’s our dear hired musicians!”
“Musicians!? Do they do polka? Do they do rock? What music can they do? I hope they can go cute and then WILD!”
Lucia the innkeeper and some orange-haired girl were the first people whom Weiss and Jaune noticed upon entering the building and ringing the door chime. The two loud females also drew attention from the customers in the pub, and with that was an indirect attraction of attention to the two wandering musicians.
The attention from the crowd didn’t hold for long, though, mostly thanks to Blake and a boy in green. Weiss gave those two sane people a nod and a smile because of that.
Still, it was time to deal with the womanchild of an innkeeper again, alright. That, and there seemed to be another one, but with less difference between physical age and mental age.
“Thank you very much for your sanity,” Weiss told those two stoic youths.
“I’m older than all of you, whippersnappers!” Lucia complained, but looks from Blake and some employees in the vicinity kept her noise down to muttering.
“Ma’am, what are our hired musicians supposed to do?” Blake then asked, arms crossed.
“Entertain the crowd,” the grumpy womanchild answered.
“Just don’t get the Grimm coming! And you’re starting tonight! And you can go play those loud rock songs or whatever, too! Again, just don’t get the Grimm coming!”
“ROOOOOOOOOOOCK!” the orange-haired girl named Nora suddenly shouted, followed by showing a very wide and very shameless grin.
“Nora…” the boy in green groaned. “Sorry…” he added, awkwardly laughing while sharply aiming his pink eyes at Nora’s blue ones.
“You know what, I’ll show lovely Nora the ropes for now,” Lucia said, taking the brightened Nora by the arm and into the corridor of inn rooms. “Later, brats!” she added, followed by sticking her tongue out.
And with that, the door was shut, leaving the pub with the usual level of chatter and noise. There were looks directed at the commotion which the innkeeper caused, but they were few, like such a thing was commonplace in the Pearly Shores Inn. That, and a lot of the customers were sending grins while they sent glances, too.
As for how Weiss felt about what just happened, well, she felt like she was in a surreal scene, so much that she had a hard time forming words for a while. After all, such chaos being treated like normality didn’t really sit well with the former Schnee heiress.
“We’re really really sorry, Ma’am, Sir,” a dark-skinned man entered the conversation, a resigned smile on his face as he stood behind a bar counter. “It’s hard to get her to stop being like that.”
“It’s okay,” the former heiress replied, blinking while recalling certain lessons as well. “We just need a change of perspective.”
Despite how stiff the Schnees can get, they didn’t get to where they currently are without sharpness of mind. Weiss knew that, and the experiences she had just gone through made her remember that.
Now, Weiss wasn’t planning on burning bridges with Lucia. Considering how busy the inn was, the elderly innkeeper certainly kept going not because of nothing.
“Did she even listen back there…?” Blake grumbled. “How do you even manage to handle her, Crag?”
“Well, you listen and understand…” Crag the bartender answered, sucking in a breath as he looked up for a few moments, “…and you go along. And hey, I know it’s tough, especially for people who met her recently.”
That was a statement which Weiss found hard to accept, but still…perhaps looking through the perspective of a more experienced inn worker would be a good idea…
“You thinking of something, Weiss?” Jaune suddenly asked, curious expression on his face.
“I’d like us to make this venture a very productive one, Jaune,” Weiss answered, hand on her chin as she thought. “And considering the life I lived before…”
She then shot a growing smile of confidence at her blonde companion.
“…You should leave this to me.”
“Okay…I will be honest…I am less prepared for this than I thought.”
“I did say that it’s an acquired taste, right, Miss Weiss?”
The former heiress let out a rough sigh, hands itching to take off the remaining attached earphone on her.
Sure, Remnant needed some sweetness and lightness, considering how rough it was to live in a world where negativity functions as monster magnets. Melancholy music existed, yes, considering how humans needed an outlet lest they attract Grimm more easily, but still, the fires of hope needed to stay lit and bright, and in the course of humanity’s efforts towards such, rock music rose to be one of the most – if not the most – powerful genres of music in Remnant. Double-edged it may be, considering how intense it can work on either side of the moral spectrum, but its surviving popularity serves as a testament to its power.
And now, Weiss, who had begun thinking about why rock music still remained popular…Well, Weiss really wanted to listen to rock music more than…more than…
“I would like some words with the producers of this song,” the former heiress said with a hard look on her face, earphones now totally removed and scroll now put away. “I am not a dumb citizen with a shallow perspective, and I am most certainly not like that womanchild over there!”
“DID SOMEBODY JUST INSULT ME AND THE AWESOME CUTENESS THAT IS RAINBOW SWEETIES?” sounded the innkeeper’s loud voice as she opened the door to the inn corridors with a bloodthirsty look on her face.
“WHAT’S RAINBOW SWEETIES?” shouted Nora, popping her curious face out behind Lucia.
“Oh, my dear Nora, Rainbow Sweeties are the sweetest among the sweetest musicians in Remnant!”
And then the innkeeper went back to the inn corridor with her new apprentice, shutting the door as the pub went on with its usual chatter, seeming like nothing really significant happened there. Laughter sounded along with the chatter, too.
Still, Weiss scoffed. The bartender, Crag, just chuckled, though, making the wandering singer grumble. Jaune had a resigned smile while he leaned on the bar counter, and as for Blake, she was showing the ropes to Ren, the boy in green who accompanied Nora. And speaking of the boy in green, he was also the subject of some pity and even awe from Weiss, as said boy had mentioned how he grew up with the hyperactive girl.
Now, in her attempts at trying to earn the favor of the innkeeper while earning the favor of the audience, Weiss tried to know the innkeeper’s favorite music as well.
And so, she borrowed a scroll from Crag, who stored copies of said music for hired musicians to listen to, and then she took some time to listen to “Flower Power,” a song which the bartender called “the most popular song of Rainbow Sweeties, a group of girls from who have debuted and gained popularity lately.”
At first, Weiss was hesitant. “Rainbow Sweeties” sounded somewhat overdone for a popular musician group’s name, see. Still, she shook her head and went to listen to the song, as she hadn’t heard what they could actually do in terms of music.
What burst into her ears was something which she described as too sweet…and that description was the most merciful that she could give to the music of Rainbow Sweeties. Further ranting would stress her out, and she didn’t have time for that.
“Do I have to break my spine to cater to that womanchild’s whims?” Weiss growled, putting one arm on the bar counter as she questioned the bartender.
“Miss Weiss,” Crag answered, “I do understand and admire your efforts toward forming a friendship with us workers of the Pearly Shores Inn, but you don’t need to force yourself. She may not seem like it, but Madam Lucia understands that, too.”
“Really?” the former heiress answered, wry smile on her face.
“Really,” the dark-skinned man said, reaching for bottles of what seemed to be fruit juices. “Just give her a chance.”
“Well, I find that very difficult to do, then.”
“She just met you, after all,” replied the bartender, who was now mixing some juices. “She usually whips out her typical crazy attitude at that point, and the more she gets to know you, the more she’ll make adjustments. Trust me, she tries.”
“So…we can play what we want as long as we don’t cause trouble, then?” Jaune entered.
“Yeah.” And Crag’s mixed drinks were served in glasses with ice cubes. “To be more clear about what Madam Lucia said: Don’t be too negative. I do recommend taking a page from Madam Lucia’s favorite musicians – ” And then Weiss snorted at that, considering how Weiss found it stupid to call those fools musicians, ” – if you’re really insistent on getting along with her, though. You don’t need to bend too much to make friends, you know.”
“Okay…so what do you think, Weiss?” Jaune then said to his singer companion, who had her temple on the bar counter, face in front of a filled glass which Crag had put down.
Again, Weiss realized how her short temper had blown up. While she floated after drowning in frustration, she noticed how hypocritical she was being again. She wanted to be of better help to the people of Remnant, and then here she was, being stiff and intolerant.
Maybe she wasn’t trying to understand the people hard enough?
“From what Kingdom is that Rainbow Sweeties group?” Weiss tiredly asked.
“Mistral,” Crag immediately answered. “Groups like Rainbow Sweeties are becoming popular there lately, too.”
At that, the former heiress groaned. She did want to understand them, but a part of her didn’t really like how overly sweet their sort of music was. It just felt really off in a world like Remnant. That, and she expected more from Mistral.
Maybe their fans just want an easy way out, then? That seemed to make more sense, considering how she noticed that she herself was currently longing for such a way very much.
“Alright, fine…” she grumbled, “I’ll draw inspiration from them…but I won’t try to copy them. That would be disastrous in so many levels.”
“Now that’s better,” Crag expressed. “And hey, would you two like some drinks?” he offered, extending his arms to show the two iced glasses of mixed fruit juices. “I call it Craggy Fruit…and you’re free to mock the pun.”
“Alright…and the pun’s not so bad, considering your attitude.”
“Thank you, Sir Crag.”
“Just Crag’s fine. And thank you and you’re welcome as well.”
The wandering musician duo nodded, and then they took sips from their respective glasses.
“Hm…not bad,” Weiss praised with a small smile. “The sweetness is just right. Your mixture certainly deserves its name.”
“And Yang should take some lessons from Crag,” Weiss mentally added.
“Thank you, Miss Weiss.”
“Just Weiss is fine.”
“Alright, then, Weiss.”
And so, Weiss took some sips from her drink again, her plan continuing to form as she considered her options for the upcoming night performance. They’ll have to go with songs they’ve practiced most before, as she and Jaune had no time for practicing a new song, let alone a set of those. Going with the same arrangements didn’t feel like a good idea, though, even with a different audience, as that felt like stifling their creativity and all. She and Jaune needed some variety, and, going by Lucia’s taste, more energy…
Hmm…perhaps those two would be able to work as support musicians…
“We’ll need some support musicians again. There’s not enough time for practicing new songs, and I consider variety essential in our work.”
“Hmm…Well then, who do you have in mind?”
“I think that Nora girl would be suitable. We’ll bring her friend, Ren, along as well.”
“You sure about that? I mean, they’re just new here and all, you know?”
“I am aware of that, yes…though they seem to have experience with improvisation.”
“We need to talk with them about it, then.”
“Indeed. Let’s go, then.”
“So you want Nora and I to be support band members while the two of you perform?”
“Yes, Ren. Jaune has his stringed instrument, while I provide the vocals. We are going to perform some songs which we have practiced a lot as a duo before, as we have no time for practicing new songs today, but we find variety essential, hence our offer to you and your friend.”
“Well, as long as we get some compensation, then.”
“Of course. We’ll make sure to give you two a fair share.”
“Yay! Renny’s gonna make some sweet music with me!”
Weiss almost fell in surprise and irritation when she suddenly heard Nora say “sweet music,” but the former heiress didn’t let that stop her from trying to ask for assistance.
“You’re gonna do some Rainbow Sweeties songs?” Lucia popped up, giving a hopeful look through her stretched and wrinkled face.
“No,” Weiss bluntly replied, “Unless they have a song that has an ounce of actual seriousness in it. And even if we would, we don’t have enough time to practice because of how much preparation time you allotted for us.”
“Pff, what a party pooper…” the womanchild scoffed, “Anyway, whether you’ll play it or not, maybe their Rainy Song, ‘Refreshing Rain,’ would suit your tastes…hopefully!”
Weiss kept her bored look up in the face of that angrily emphasized “hopefully.” Still, she would give that recommendation a chance. Maybe it will lead to a friendship, or maybe it will not lead to a friendship.
Well, the bottom line is that Weiss would make sure to have a decent relationship with the innkeeper before they left for another stage. Having anything less would be bad for business.
“Scroll and earphones, please, then,” the singer asked. “I’d like to do some deep listening on that one recommendation of yours. Childish you may be, but I shall give you a chance for the sake of good business.”
Instincts then caused Weiss to bend backward, avoiding facial contact with a scroll which Lucia suddenly whipped out and towards the hired musician.
At that point, Weiss just let out a sigh and took the scroll, which also had the earphones she asked for, and went to play “Refreshing Rain.”
The start of the song was decent, which featured the sound of rain. It brought both relaxation and wistfulness to Weiss’s mind, and the slow instrumental introduction that built up further led to the former heiress nodding with caught interest.
Then, in unison, four female voices crooned, creating a sound which sounded more profound to Weiss when compared to their most popular hit. The wandering singer then wondered about why they didn’t make more songs like this. Then, for a while, Weiss thought about the possibility of them thinking that Remnant needed something new, along with a thought about some things not needing change.
Anyway, Weiss continued listening. The voices were beginning to sing individually, the others backing the leads with impressive timing. The lyrics had a sense of childishness and naivete, but that was more subdued compared to the other song she listened to. It made her think of people who wanted to forget pain so easily, something that even she herself had been some times before.
Then, she noticed how the song was the first track in its mini album’s tracklist. “How cunning,” she thought, as she had a hard time denying how profound the song was turning. Along with that, she closed her eyes to ignore Lucia’s smirk while she quietly tried to sing along with the resonating refrain, a refrain which had strengthened sounds and a more mature feel.
Perhaps she needed to know deeper about what she had to deal with before she could even say that she knew what to do in order to help. Weiss, although she knew that she was still far away from being her ideal self, often thought that she knew how to deal with her problems well.
And then there were the people who, although they felt intrusive at times, ended up being more helpful than they seemed. Winter, Jaune…and maybe even her own father…were part of those people…
There was a little pain in her chest when Weiss thought about how she was trying to live her life, but she then thought about using that stubbornness to head to a different and, hopefully, better direction. Remnant needed better help from her.
And while she thought that, the next song started, returning to more of the childishness which Weiss found in Rainbow Sweeties.
The former heiress sighed as she removed the earphones from her ears, feeling ambivalence at the surprisingly complex music skills of her current employer’s favorite musicians…and yes, she would call them musicians now…musicians who have potential, but need more development.
Hmm…perhaps she should send them a message sometime…
“I believe I noticed enjoyment in your face, my dear Weiss…”
Oh, and ignoring that smirking innkeeper didn’t last forever.
“Yes, I enjoyed that song,” Weiss admitted, “But they still have a long way to go.”
“Just like you?” Lucia asked with an annoyingly wide grin.
“Yes…” Weiss sighed, “Just like me…”
And then the elderly innkeeper squealed, doing a jig while chanting “One of us!”
Meanwhile, Jaune chuckled.
“Sounds like you found a good one, huh?” he said as he took the scroll and earphones, attaching the latter to his own ears while changing the track that was playing in the former.
Weiss sighed again, and then she stretched an arm to send a flicking finger to her partner’s forehead…
But before that, she took note of their actual height difference plus the volume of the audience who would see what she was going to do…which was standing on her toes and sending that flicking finger to her tall partner’s forehead.
Yes, Weiss was so into rubbing her little moments of superiority into Jaune, so much that she had probably made herself look stupider already because of it.
“Weiss…what are you doing?”
“Nothing,” she told the blonde guitarist, blushing while looking away with a frown and crossed arms.
“Just get Ren and Nora already,” she shot with a glare. “Time’s running, and we need to practice.”
Still, the Arc had the guts to chuckle before going off with an affirmative response.
Again, Weiss sighed, but still, she and her pride wouldn’t let her stray from doing her job well.
Author’s Note: Yo there. It’s been a while, and I’m back with this new chapter of Wandering Weiss. Though my more sluggish progress with this doesn’t give me as much confidence in the quality of this chapter, I still want to ask for honest constructive feedback. I wanna be a better writer, yo!
Oh, and hey, I guess you can say that I have some worldbuilding in here. I don’t think it’s particularly big if you think about it with the canon RWBY plot as context, though, but with the premise of this story, I think that it’s something that should get more focus. That, and my attempts at worldbuilding are stuff which I really really want to get feedback on, as I consider worldbuilding and constructing settings as weak spots of mine when it comes to writing stories.
As for what’s next, well, I don’t think I can promise more regular updates very well, but I guess it would be a better idea for me to go more regular again, considering my desire towards becoming a better writer…but of course, I gotta care for myself better, especially while dealing with responsibilities like school and chores. And I do have a plot in mind, but I do feel like a wanderer with it as well, so yeah…I appreciate patient readers.
Of course, honest and constructive feedback is highly encouraged and will be highly appreciated.
Next Chapter: Confidence